List of open-source health software

Last updated

The following is a list of software packages and applications licensed under an open-source license or in the public domain for use in the health care industry.

An open-source license is a type of license for computer software and other products that allows the source code, blueprint or design to be used, modified and/or shared under defined terms and conditions. This allows end users and commercial companies to review and modify the source code, blueprint or design for their own customization, curiosity or troubleshooting needs. Open-source licensed software is mostly available free of charge, though this does not necessarily have to be the case. Licenses which only permit non-commercial redistribution or modification of the source code for personal use only are generally not considered as open-source licenses. However, open-source licenses may have some restrictions, particularly regarding the expression of respect to the origin of software, such as a requirement to preserve the name of the authors and a copyright statement within the code, or a requirement to redistribute the licensed software only under the same license. One popular set of open-source software licenses are those approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) based on their Open Source Definition (OSD).

The public domain consists of all the creative work to which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have expired, been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable.

Health care Prevention of disease and promotion of wellbeing

Health care, health-care, or healthcare is the maintenance or improvement of health via the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in people. Health care is delivered by health professionals in allied health fields. Physicians and physician associates are a part of these health professionals. Dentistry, midwifery, nursing, medicine, optometry, audiology, pharmacy, psychology, occupational therapy, physical therapy and other health professions are all part of health care. It includes work done in providing primary care, secondary care, and tertiary care, as well as in public health.


Public health and biosurveillance

Epi Info

Epi Info is statistical software for epidemiology developed by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia (US).

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention government agency

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the leading national public health institute of the United States. The CDC is a United States federal agency under the Department of Health and Human Services and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

Spatiotemporal Epidemiological Modeler

The Spatiotemporal Epidemiological Modeler (STEM) is a free software available through the Eclipse Foundation. Originally developed by IBM Research, STEM is a framework and development tool designed to help scientists create and use spatial and temporal models of infectious disease. STEM uses a component software architecture based on the OSGi standard. The Eclipse Equinox platform is a reference implementation of that standard. By using a component software architecture, all of the components or elements required for a disease model, including the code and the data are available as software building blocks that can be independently exchanged, extended, reused, or replaced. These building blocks or plug-ins are called eclipse "plug-ins" or "extensions". STEM plug-ins contain denominator data for administrative regions of interest. The regions are indexed by standard (ISO3166) codes.

Electronic records and medical practice management

Name Maintainer License Programming language/
Software stack
Operating System FeaturesTarget setting
EHR/EMR HIS? Practice management?Other
ClearHealth ClearHealth Inc. [4] GNU GPL [4] PHP, JavaScript [5] ?EMR?Scheduling & billing HIPAA security
CottageMed ? GNU GPL [6] FileMaker Cross-platform [6] EMR [6] ??Prescriptions [6]
FreeMED FreeMED Software Foundation [7] GNU GPL [8] ??Yes?Yes HIPAA compliant
ERPNext Frappe Technologies GNU GPL [9] Python; JavaScript ?EMRYesYes
GaiaEHR ? GNU GPL [10] PHP & Ext JS ?EHR??
GNUmed GNUmed GNU GPL [11] Python (wxPython); PostgreSQL [11] Cross-platform [11] Yes [11] No?
GNU Health GNU Health (GNU Project) GNU GPL [12] Python; PostgreSQL Cross-platform EMR [12] Yes [12] Yes [12]
Hospital OS ? GNU GPL [13] Java [13] Linux & Windows [13] ?Yes?Small Thai hospitals [13]
HOSxP ? Public domain [14] Delphi/Kylix [14] Windows [14] EHRYes [14] Financial [14] Thai hospitals [14]
MedinTux MedinTux team [15] CeCILL [15] C++ [16] Cross-platform [17] ??Yes Modular design; web [18] & desktop interfaces French hospital emergency departments & smaller practices
OpenEMR ? GNU GPL [19] PHP, JavaScript; MySQL [20] Cross-platform [19] Yes [19] ?Yes [19] Patient portal & prescriptions [19]
Open Dental Open Dental Software [21] GNU GPL [21] ??Dental recordNoYes Dentistry
OpenHospital Informatici Senza Frontiere [22] GNU GPL [22] Java [22] Cross-platform [22] EMRYesYesSmall rural hospitals
OpenMRS OpenMRS Inc. [23] MPL with Healthcare Disclaimer [23] Java ?EMR??Extensible & scalable
OSCAR McMaster ? GNU GPL [24] Java ?EMR [24] ?Billing Web interface; PHR [24] Canadian healthcare providers
PopHealth OSEHRA Apache [25] ??Reporting engineNoNoClinical Quality Measure database; web interface
Spinnaker Dental IT Ltd [26] GNU GPL [26] ??Dental record?Yes Open Dental fork [27] UK dental practices [27]
THIRRA ? MPL [28] PHP5 (CodeIgniter), JavaScript (jQuery); [28] PostgreSQL ?EHR [28] ?? Disease surveillance; [28] web interface Ambulatory care & public health [28]
VistA US Department of Veterans Affairs Free [29] ??EHR?? Veterans Health Administration facilities
WorldVistA WorldVistA [29] GNU GPL [30] ??EHR [29] ?with VistA-Edge PMSNon-governmental use
ZEPRS Zcore Research Triangle Institute [31] Apache [31] Java [31] ?Yes?? Web interface

Health system management

IntraHealth International is a non-profit organization based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, U.S.A. dedicated to working with developing countries to improve their public health capabilities. Originally established as a program of the medical school of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1979, IntraHealth became an independent non-governmental organization in 2003. The organization has worked in more than 50 countries, and is currently active in 28.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is an independent agency of the United States federal government that is primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid and development assistance. With a budget of over $27 billion, USAID is one of the largest official aid agencies in the world, and accounts for more than half of all U.S. foreign assistance—the highest in the world in absolute dollar terms.

CapacityPlus is a global project funded by the United States Agency for International Development and led by IntraHealth International. Focused on strengthening the health workforce needed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, the project assists countries to improve accessibility and quality of health services by addressing deficits in human resources for health (HRH).

Disease management

Breathing Games is an open access health commons that aims to promote respiratory health through games for health and open source hardware released under copyleft licences. Breathing Games leads collaborations with hospitals in Canada, France, Switzerland, Italy and South Korea, and is a member of the Global Alliance against chronic Respiratory Diseases.

Nightscout is a free and open-source project, and associated social movement, that enables accessing and working with continuous glucose monitor (CGM) data. Nightscout software aims to give users access to their real time blood sugar data by putting this data in the cloud. In addition to browser-based data visualization, Nightscout can also be used to review data from a phone or smartwatch, or to remotely monitor CGM data for individuals with type 1 diabetes. Associated with Nightscout software is a broader "CGM in the Cloud" social movement, supporting individuals seeking to access and use realtime CGM data through commercial and do-it-yourself (DIY) approaches.

Do it yourself building, modifying, or repairing something without the aid of experts or professionals

"Do it yourself" ("DIY") is the method of building, modifying, or repairing things without the direct aid of experts or professionals. Academic research describes DIY as behaviors where "individuals engage raw and semi-raw materials and parts to produce, transform, or reconstruct material possessions, including those drawn from the natural environment ". DIY behavior can be triggered by various motivations previously categorized as marketplace motivations, and identity enhancement.


Cambridge Brain Analysis (CamBA), is a software repository developed at the Brain Mapping Unit, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, UK and contains software pipelines for functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) analysis. It is designed for batch processing and its main graphical user interface offers a spreadsheet-like look-and-feel.

Neuroimaging set of techniques to measure and visualize aspects of the nervous system

Neuroimaging or brain imaging is the use of various techniques to either directly or indirectly image the structure, function, or pharmacology of the nervous system. It is a relatively new discipline within medicine, neuroscience, and psychology. Physicians who specialize in the performance and interpretation of neuroimaging in the clinical setting are neuroradiologists.

Drishti (software)

Drishti is a multi-platform, open-source volume-exploration and presentation tool. Written for visualizing tomography data, electron-microscopy data and the like, it aims to ease understanding of data sets and to assist with conveying that understanding to the research community or to lay persons. From the website:

"The central idea about Drishti is that the scientists should be able to use it for exploring volumetric datasets as well as use it in presentations."

Medical information systems

Caisis is an open-source, web-based, patient data management system that integrates research with patient care. The system is freely distributed to promote the collection of standard, well structured data suitable for research and multi-institution collaboration.

Natural language processing field of computer science and linguistics

Natural language processing (NLP) is a subfield of linguistics, computer science, information engineering, and artificial intelligence concerned with the interactions between computers and human (natural) languages, in particular how to program computers to process and analyze large amounts of natural language data.

Mayo Clinic American academic medical center

The Mayo Clinic is an American nonprofit academic medical center based in Rochester, Minnesota, focused on integrated clinical practice, education, and research. It employs more than 4,500 physicians and scientists, along with another 58,400 administrative and allied health staff. The practice specializes in treating difficult cases through tertiary care and destination medicine. It is home to the top-ten ranked Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine in addition to many of the largest, best regarded residency education programs in the United States. It spends over $660 million a year on research and has more than 3,000 full-time research personnel.


Mobile devices

Out-of-the-box distributions



See also

Related Research Articles

MIT License Permissive free software license

The MIT License is a permissive free software license originating at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the late 1980s. As a permissive license, it puts only very limited restriction on reuse and has, therefore, reasonable license compatibility. The MIT license permits reuse within proprietary software provided that all copies of the licensed software include a copy of the MIT License terms and the copyright notice. The MIT license is also compatible with many copyleft licenses, such as the GNU General Public License (GPL); MIT licensed software can be integrated into GPL software, but not the other way around.

Apache License Free software license developed by the ASF

The Apache License is a permissive free software license written by the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). It allows users to use the software for any purpose, to distribute it, to modify it, and to distribute modified versions of the software under the terms of the license, without concern for royalties. The ASF and its projects release their software products under the Apache License. The license is also used by many non-ASF projects.

Source-available software is software released through a source code distribution model that includes arrangements where the source can be viewed, and in some cases modified, but without necessarily meeting the criteria to be called open-source. The licenses associated with the offerings range from allowing code to be viewed for reference, to allowing code to be modified and redistributed for both commercial and non-commercial purposes.

GNU Data Language programming language

The GNU Data Language (GDL) is a free alternative to IDL. Together with its library routines, GDL is developed to serve as a tool for data analysis and visualization in such disciplines as astronomy, geosciences, and medical imaging. GDL is licensed under the GPL. Other open-source numerical data analysis tools similar to GDL include GNU Octave, NCAR Command Language (NCL), Perl Data Language (PDL), R, Scilab, SciPy, and Yorick.

A permissive software license, sometimes also called BSD-like or BSD-style license, is a free-software license with minimal requirements about how the software can be redistributed. Examples include the MIT License, BSD licenses, Apple Public Source License and Apache license. As of 2016, the most popular free-software license is the permissive MIT license.

OpenEMR electronic health record system

OpenEMR is a medical practice management software which also supports Electronic Medical Records (EMR). It is ONC Complete Ambulatory EHR certified and it features fully integrated electronic medical records, practice management for a medical practice, scheduling, and electronic billing.

This is a comparison of free and open-source software licenses. The comparison only covers software licenses with a linked article for details, approved by at least one expert group at the FSF, the OSI, the Debian project or the Fedora project. For a list of licenses not specifically intended for software, see List of free content licenses.

Public-domain-equivalent license

Public-domain-equivalent license are licenses that grant public-domain-like rights or/and act as waivers. They are used to make copyrighted works usable by anyone without conditions, while avoiding the complexities of attribution or license compatibility that occur with other licenses.

The Ruby License is a Free and Open Source license applied to the Ruby programming language and also available to be used in other projects. It is approved by the Free Software Foundation although it has not been approved Open Source by the Open Source Initiative.

License proliferation is the phenomenon of an abundance of already existing and the continued creation of new software licenses for software and software packages in the FOSS ecosystem. License proliferation affects the whole FOSS ecosystem negatively by the burden of increasingly complex license selection, license interaction, and license compatibility considerations.

License compatibility is a legal framework that allows for pieces of software with different software licenses to be distributed together. The need for such a framework arises because the different licenses can contain contradictory requirements, rendering it impossible to legally combine source code from separately-licensed software in order to create and publish a new program.

Companies whose business center on the development of open-source software employ a variety of business models to solve the challenge of how to make money providing software that is by definition licensed free of charge. Each of these business strategies rests on the premise that users of open-source technologies are willing to purchase additional software features under proprietary licenses, or purchase other services or elements of value that complement the open-source software that is core to the business. This additional value can be, but not limited to, enterprise-grade features and up-time guarantees to satisfy business or compliance requirements, performance and efficiency gains by features not yet available in the open source version, legal protection, or professional support/training/consulting that are typical of proprietary software applications.

Free software license license allowing software modification and redistribution

A free-software license is a notice that grants the recipient of a piece of software extensive rights to modify and redistribute that software. These actions are usually prohibited by copyright law, but the rights-holder of a piece of software can remove these restrictions by accompanying the software with a software license which grants the recipient these rights. Software using such a license is free software as conferred by the copyright holder. Free-software licenses are applied to software in source code and also binary object-code form, as the copyright law recognizes both forms.

BSD licenses are a family of permissive free software licenses, imposing minimal restrictions on the use and distribution of covered software. This is in contrast to copyleft licenses, which have share-alike requirements. The original BSD license was used for its namesake, the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD), a Unix-like operating system. The original version has since been revised, and its descendants are referred to as modified BSD licenses.

GNU General Public License set of free software licenses

The GNU General Public License is a widely-used free software license, which guarantees end users the freedom to run, study, share and modify the software. The license was originally written by Richard Stallman, former head of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), for the GNU Project, and grants the recipients of a computer program the rights of the Free Software Definition. The GPL is a copyleft license, which means that derivative work must be open-source and distributed under the same license terms. This is in distinction to permissive free software licenses, of which the BSD licenses and the MIT License are widely-used less-restrictive examples. GPL was the first copyleft license for general use.


Voreen is an open-source volume visualization library and development platform. Through the use of GPU-based volume rendering techniques it allows high frame rates on standard graphics hardware to support interactive volume exploration.

Open-core model business model monetizing commercial open-source software

The open-core model is a business model for the monetization of commercially-produced open-source software. Coined by Andrew Lampitt in 2008, the open-core model primarily involves offering a "core" or feature-limited version of a software product as free and open-source software, while offering "commercial" versions or add-ons as proprietary software.


NConf is an open source tool for configuring the Nagios network monitoring system. It is mainly targeted at sysadmins who are looking for a more convenient way of managing their Nagios configuration files through the use of a graphical user interface, as opposed to maintaining the configuration files with a text editor.

Software Package Data Exchange (SPDX) is a file format used to document information on the software licenses under which a given piece of computer software is distributed. SPDX is authored by the SPDX Working Group, which represents more than twenty different organizations, under the auspices of the Linux Foundation.

Software relicensing is applied in open-source software development when software licenses of software modules are incompatible and are required to be compatible for a greater combined work. Licenses applied to software as copyrightable works, in source code as binary form, can contain contradictory clauses. These requirements can make it impossible to combine source code or content of several software works to create a new combined one.


  1. "Epi Info". CDC. 13 September 2016.
  2. "Download STEM". Eclipse. 22 June 2017.
  3. "Eclipse Foundation Software User Agreement". Eclipse. 9 April 2014.
  4. 1 2 "clearhealth/LICENSE". GitHub. 30 January 2013.
  5. "clearhealth/clearhealth". GitHub. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  6. 1 2 3 4 "CottageMed™ EHR". SourceForge. 7 August 2015.
  7. "FreeMED Software Foundation" . Retrieved 8 July 2017.
  8. "freemed/LICENSE". GitHub. 25 January 2012.
  9. "ERPNext Healthcare/LICENSE". GitHub. 29 January 2016.
  10. "gaiaehr/LICENSE". GitHub. 29 January 2016.
  11. 1 2 3 4 "Gnumed FAQs". Gnumed. 10 October 2011.
  12. 1 2 3 4 "GNU Health - Summary". Savannah. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  13. 1 2 3 4 "Hospital OS". SourceForge. 10 April 2013.
  14. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "HOSxP". SourceForge. 17 April 2013.
  15. 1 2 "À propos" [About]. Medintux (in French). Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  16. "dev". Medintux (in French). 29 June 2012.
  17. "Installation". Medintux (in French). Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  18. "MedWebTux". Medintux (in French). 13 July 2013.
  19. 1 2 3 4 5 "OpenEMR Features". OpenEMR. 6 May 2017.
  20. "Development Policies". OpenEMR Project Wiki. 17 April 2017.
  21. 1 2 "Open Source License". Open Dental. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  22. 1 2 3 4 "Open Hospital". SourceForge. 4 June 2017.
  23. 1 2 "OpenMRS License Information". OpenMRS. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  24. 1 2 3 "Welcome". OSCAR User's Manual. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  25. "popHealth". OSEHRA. March 2017.
  26. 1 2 "Welcome to Spinnaker". Spinnaker. Dental IT Ltd. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  27. 1 2 "Spinnaker". Dental IT Ltd. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  28. 1 2 3 4 5 "THIRRA Electronic Health Records Systems". SourceForge. 31 January 2017.
  29. 1 2 3 "Distributions of VistA". OSEHRA. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  30. "WorldVistA EHR GPL License". WorldVistA. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  31. 1 2 3 "Licensing". ICTedge. Archived from the original on 10 September 2014.
  32. "About iHRIS". iHRIS. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  33. "Frequently Asked Questions". iHRIS. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  34. "DHIS 2 Overview". DHIS2. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  35. "Get Involved". Breathing Games. 17 December 2016.
  36. "The Nightscout Project" . Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  37. "android-uploader/LICENSE". GitHub. 27 September 2014.
    "lasso/LICENSE". GitHub. 2 July 2015.
    "chrome-uploader/". GitHub. 24 November 2014.
    "windows-phone-app/LICENSE". GitHub. 29 November 2014.
  38. "cgm-remote-monitor/LICENSE". GitHub. 25 September 2014.
    "process-controls/LICENSE". GitHub. 11 January 2015.
  39. "nightscout-apple-watch/LICENSE". GitHub. 23 June 2015.
  40. "fda-presubmission/LICENSE". GitHub. 24 June 2014.
    "cgm-pebble/LICENSE". GitHub. 22 February 2014.
  41. "CamBA: Tool/Resource Info". NITRC. Neuroimaging Informatics Tools and Resources Clearinghouse . Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  42. "drishti/". GitHub. 1 February 2016.
  43. "Endrov". SourceForge. 3 January 2016.
  44. "License". GIMIAS. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  45. "Ginkgo CADx" . Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  46. "Copyright and License". ITK. Kitware.
  47. "invesalius3/LICENSE.txt". GitHub. 10 June 2009.
  48. "ITK-SNAP". NITRC. Neuroimaging Informatics Tools and Resources Clearinghouse . Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  49. "License". MITK. 1 December 2014.
  50. "Download". Orthanc. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  51. "ParaView License". ParaView. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  52. "License". SlicerWiki. 24 November 2016.
  53. "About Voreen". Voreen. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  54. "License". VTK. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  55. "Xebra". SourceForge. 17 April 2013.
  56. "Frequently Asked Questions". Caisis. BioDigital. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  57. "History". cTAKES. Apache Software Foundation. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  58. "Copyrights and Licenses". Galaxy Wiki. 14 May 2015.
  59. "FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions". LabKey Support. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  60. "glucosio-android/LICENSE". GitHub. 19 August 2015.
    "glucosio-ios/LICENSE". GitHub. 19 August 2015.
  61. "medic-webapp/". GitHub. 30 June 2017.
  62. "LICENSE.txt". GitHub. 26 August 2017.
  63. "platform/". GitHub. 18 November 2014.
  64. "Debian Med". Debian. Software in the Public Interest, Inc. 5 July 2016.
  65. "LAIKA: EHR Testing Framework". SourceForge. 19 April 2013.
  66. Brauer, Jacob (14 August 2013). "Source Code Contribution Guidelines". Mirth Connect.
  67. "FHIR Foundation" . Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  68. "Foundation Module". FHIR. HL7. 19 April 2017.
  69. "License and Legal Terms". FHIR. HL7. 19 April 2017.
  70. "specifications-BASE/LICENSE". GitHub. 29 July 2015.

Further reading